I am all for simplifying my beauty routine, especially when it comes to travel. I am also slightly addicted to exfoliation – getting rid of the day’s grime for tighter, brighter, smoother, cleaner skin.
Pre-soaked facial pads tick both those boxes and more and have gained momentum in the beauty world thanks to their ease of use, effectiveness and instant skin rejuvenation. They are also a tidy application to get multiple key ingredients on your skin and the perfect travel partner if you need to avoid travelling with liquids.
Used twice daily, the pads – which are soaked in ingredients such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHA and BHAs), salicylic acid and enzymes, use a combination of mechanical and chemical exfoliation to transform dull skin quickly and effectively. They are gentle enough for daily use and, in most cases, can be used twice daily after cleansing. Simply wipe over the skin in circular motions and follow with your treatment products. The chemical ingredients physically lift away dead cells and gently exfoliate, helping to reduce the look of dark spots, pores and uneven skin texture, while the woven texture delivers mechanical exfoliation, too. Here are some tried and tested buys:
Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads, R1 035, elemis.com
These pads offer a dual-action exfoliating treatment to refine and smooth the skin’s surface for a brighter and renewed complexion. Thanks to the patented Tri-Enzyme Technology and Probiotic Ferment Complex, these pads physically lift dead cells and accelerate the skin’s natural cell turnover, while lactic acid (a mild naturally occurring AHA) smooths skin.
Strivectin Daily Reveal Exfoliating Pads, R1 250, Metropolitan Cosmetics
Enlarged or blocked pores are often due to an excess amount of sebum (natural oils) and dead skin cells, which get trapped in these small openings. These resurfacing pads can be used once daily to boost your skin’s natural exfoliation rate in days and in doing so, refine the pore lining. The pads deliver both chemical exfoliation with four types of acids, plus physical exfoliation with a micro-peel fibre pad. The ingredients gently remove dead skin cells and resurface for clarified, smooth, visibly brightened skin.
Exuviance Bionic Tonic Pads, R780, dermastore.co.za
The key to these are polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs) – topical skin resurfacing ingredients derived from naturally occurring substances such as lactobionic acid and gluconolactone, which have a host of amazing benefits. They attract and hold onto water molecules, so they improve hydration and promote moisture retention; they provide gentle exfoliation without causing irritation or inflammation so are perfect for sensitive skin; they have anti-ageing properties and brightening effects; they are non-photosensitising, meaning they don’t increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight or UV radiation; and they have antioxidant benefits to help protect the skin from environmental stressors.
Neostrata Restore PHA Renewal Pads, R863, neostrata.co.za
These pre-soaked tonic pads are infused with 4 per cent PHA, which is suitable for sensitive skin and gently exfoliates dull skin buildup while supporting the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Green tea and cucumber extracts are added to offer hydration and soothe dry, stressed skin.